How to Become a Contributor to a Large Publication

Writing for a large website is easier than you might think.

Early on in my professional journey, I’d pitch journalists about stories. When they’d write the story, I instinctively wrote them a thank you email. 100 percent of the time that journalist wrote back thanking me.

That was very confusing. Then it hit me. That journalist has a quota. She needs to publish a certain number of articles and if she doesn’t, well, that’s not good.

So when I pitch her a story, I’m helping her and when she writes the story, she’s helping me. The same is true for contributing. The site needs content for them to get traffic. If you provide good content, you are helping them out, and when they publish it, they’re helping you.

A classic win-win situation.

You have insights in your head you don’t even know you have

Then the next question is, “Ok, they agreed to let me write for them. But what do I write?”

I’ve spoken about this many times. If you’re good at basketball, it’s difficult for you to imagine that there are people out there who find it very difficult to shoot the ball into the hoop. After all, it’s so easy for you.

The same is true for knowledge. You have thoughts, wisdom and insights in your head. Don’t leave them there. You might think that everyone knows these things. You’d be wrong.

Whatever it is you’re passionate about, write about it.

Google is your friend

As far as accessing the person who manages contributions at the site, well, that should not be too difficult to find.

A few minutes doing some basic research and you should be able to identify the right person. The next question is how you get to them.

In today’s day and age, you can get to anyone

I find that Twitter is generally the best place to get to people who write or work for large publications, especially in the business sector.

You might do a search on Twitter for the name of the site and perhaps see if anyone from there is following you. If not, follow the most relevant person and then ask them, preferably privately but for that, they need to follow you back, who manages contributors at the site.

After they tell you, ask them if they’d be willing to introduce you. They might answer that you should write the piece and submit it through the formal channels or they will pass it on.

Do that. Write the first article you’d want to contribute and make it good.

As always, be human

Like most things in business, it’s all about the people, the trust and the relationship.

Once you identify the right person, don’t just go and pitch them. Establish some trust first. Perhaps spend a few days engaging with them and their tweets. Answer some of their questions. Ask them some questions. Share their tweets. Be human.

Once you establish the beginning of a connection, ask them if you can contact them, whether through Twitter DM, or email.

Then send them the pitch and hope for the best.

Remember, if they publish your article, it is a mutually beneficial agreement and everyone ends up winning. Good luck.

Writing here or for other publications has been paramount in my career. It has extended my reach to many millions of readers. My followers across all social networks grew and my ability to reach anyone on LinkedIn increased because people see where I write, and my access to companies and executives has become endless.


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